Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by futureusna, Jan 6, 2012.
Do you receive any different training if you decide to go into the Marines?
Yes, but only the summer before 1/C year. 1/C Cruise is the only time you really get a "say" in what training you do with the fleet (aside from deciding between subs/surface youngster year): you can choose to do a cruise on a surface ship, with SEALs/EOD (highly selective), on a submarine, with an aviation squadron, or Leatherneck/MAGTF.
MAGTF (Marine Air/Ground Task Force) is only for a few people. Generally, only people who are injured and can't do Leatherneck do MAGTF. The other exceptions would be sports teams that have competitions during the Leatherneck block or if too many people sign up for Leatherneck and they run out of room, in which case the top few get MAGTF. For MAGTF, you go to a unit out in the FMF and spend a couple weeks with them seeing what they do. At the end, they write an eval on you and that gets put into your Marine packet. Before or after you go, usually before during Commissioning Week, MAGTFers do all of the physical evaluations necessary to go Marine Corps as well.
Leatherneck is the much more common option, and unless you have extenuating circumstances is basically a requirement. This past summer, roughly 320 mids went to Leatherneck as opposed to ~50-70 (not sure) to MAGTF. Leatherneck is at MCB Quantico and is structured to both evaluate mids for how they will do in the Marine Corps and introduce them to how the Marines do things. Mids rotate through leadership positions within platoons and get instruction in things like land nav (and night land nav), squad tactics, weapons familiarization (sort of...), the different job opportunities, and physical events like the Obstacle and Endurance Courses. At the end you take a couple tests and get ranked by the Officers in charge of you (a Captain and a 1st or 2nd Lt). Your ranking at Leatherneck can be the make or break thing that decides whether you go Marine Corps or not.
What type of tests are given at the end of Leatherneck? Do they give the PFT, CFT, Obstacle Course, and/or Endurance Course as a part of the 'final test'?
As Hurricane indicated, Mids who participate in Leatherneck are evaluated in many areas throughout the ~4 week session, not just "at the end." For some examples, PFT, CFT, Obstacle Course and Endurance course were all given (at least this year, and I assume every year) in addition to scores in daytime and nighttime land nav, among other things. However, the candidate's leadership eval is also really critical to their final ranking.
I'm sure their are differences, but it sounds to me like Leatherneck is an awful lot like NROTC Marine Option OCS; except commisioning is not riding on it of course. There must be other differences as well since its 2 weeks shorter. Is this a fair assessment?
Not really. It's a different environment. Of course I say this only having been to Leatherneck and not OCS, but I think it has a different endstate. Some of the events are different as well, but the biggest thing is the environment. Because mids have already done plebe summer and plebe year, which does not compare at all to OCS as far as stress levels, the stress at Leatherneck isn't pushed down by the instructors as much.
Leatherneck is meant to be a TBS-like environment (it's not really, but bear with me). It's even held in the TBS buildings, vice on the OCS side of the base. There's only a couple senior enlisted for the entire 300+ MIDN company and they mostly just make sure things are running smoothly (and occasionally provide "encouragement.") Mids are given a (MIDN) chain of command and mostly told "be here with this at this time" and expected to make it happen. You're expected to take initiative and get a lot of things done outside of the schedule, which is very busy as it is. You could miss meals or sleep time (a lot of sleep time...) to get something done that needs to get done, like rifle cleaning, studying, or uniform prep, because those things don't have time slots built into the day. For the most part, as long as you get stuff done, you're treated like an adult and don't have to do the false motivation stuff, drill, etc.
A lot of people complain about Leatherneck, but I found that aspect of it refreshing. Sometimes you have to do stupid stuff, but that there were actually expectations and standards for us was a nice change of pace from, say, PROTRAMID or youngster cruise.
OCS is more of a screening environment kind of (but not quite) like boot camp. Candidates are still expected to take initiative and get a lot of things done outside of working hours, but they're escorted around a lot more than mids and a lot more...attention from the SIs. It's also sort of a crash course in introduction to the Marine Corps, and so Candidates do drill, etc. They also PT, and PT hard, pretty much every day.
I could count on one hand the number of scheduled PT sessions we had. They were a kick in the nuts, but the expectation was that not only were we working hard during physical events like the O/E Course, but were also maintaining fitness on our own time using the makeshift gyms around the TBS buildings. To clarify, Leatherneck was very physical but in a different way than a scheduled PT session every morning while getting yelled at by SIs.
We saw (from afar) some OCS guys going through training when we went over to that side of the base for the LRC. It's a completely different environment.
So would it be possible to go into Infantry??
If a Mid requests USMC as their service selection, (and gets it), infantry is one of the possible career paths.
Has your class already had your Service Selection night? I'm guessing you put in for the USMC?
Leatherneck (or as my wife calls it Leatherhead) is almost always required for evaluation and those selecting USMC. TBS can be brutal, but then again they are Marines.
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